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Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Fax: 503-823-0342

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

1021.00 Weapons Qualifications

1021.00, Weapons Qualifications 

Refer:

  •  DIR 1010.00,  Use of Force 

 Definitions:

  • Aerosol Restraints: A hand-held aerosol spray containing organic capsaicin oils derived from pepper plants, which affects individuals for several minutes, often incapacitating them. Most effects dissipate within 30-40 minutes. 
  • Ammunition: Projectiles, along with their fuses and primers, which can be fired from a firearm. 
  • AR-15:  a Bureau-approved and issued carbine rifle. 
  • Baton: An authorized instrument designed for blocking, jabbing, striking, or to apply control holds while engaged in a police action. Also known as an impact weapon not intended or likely to cause death of a subject.  
  • Certified Armorer (CA): A person who has successfully completed armorer training in a weapons system currently used by Bureau personnel, and is designated as an approved armorer by the Training Division. 
  • Certified Instructor (CI):  A person who has successfully completed a Bureau or, when the Bureau does not have a certification process, an accredited instructor school in a weapons system and is currently designated as a weapons system instructor by the Training Division.  Certified instructors may only qualify members in the weapons system in which they are certified. 
  • Cold qualification: A successful attempt at shooting a passing score on the designated Bureau-approved qualification courses as prescribed by the Training Division without prior attempts or practice shots within the preceding twelve hours with that specific weapon. 
  • Conditionally qualified:  A member is conditionally qualified when, after failing on the first attempt to fire their primary or secondary firearm, they achieve a passing score on the second attempt.  There is no conditionally qualified provision for the shotgun and AR-15. 
  • Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW):  A weapon, including Tasers, designed primarily to discharge electrical charges into a subject that will cause involuntary muscle contractions and overrides the subject’s voluntary motor responses. 
  • Day:  Calendar day 
  • Firearm: A weapon, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a projectile by the action of powder. 
  • Firearms training: Instruction received from a Bureau CI for the purpose of skill enhancement.  This may also include instructors from outside organizations who contract with the Bureau to provide approved firearms training.  The Training Division shall be responsible for the approval of non-Bureau instructors. 
  • Function check:  The ability of a member to describe and demonstrate the function and safety features on an AR-15, shotgun, and less lethal launcher. 
  • Impact Munitions: Bureau-issued munitions that are used by patrol officers and are fired from a launcher.  Impact munitions are not intended to produce deadly effects, but just as with other impact weapons, they can cause serious injury or death.  Although this munition is designed to be less lethal, it is not to be considered non-lethal. 
  • Less Lethal Launcher:  A Bureau-issued launcher capable of delivering impact munitions.  Bureau-issued shotguns designated as less lethal launchers will be conspicuously marked.  
  • Primary firearm: A Bureau-approved firearm (Glock 17, 19, 26) carried on duty. 
  • Remedial Training: Mandatory instruction determined through consultation with the Training Division and provided by a CI to a member that has failed to cold qualify on a primary firearm, AR-15, shotgun, or less lethal weapon. 
  • Secondary firearm:  A Bureau-approved firearm other than the primary firearm that is carried in a concealed manner as a backup firearm. 
  • Shotgun:  a Bureau-approved, 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun. 
  • Specialty Munitions: Bureau-issued munitions that are used by specialty units and are not intended to produce deadly effects, but just as with other impact weapons, they can cause serious injury or death.  Although this munition is designed to be less lethal, it is not to be considered non-lethal. 

Policy:

1. The Portland Police Bureau requires its sworn members to be properly trained on and proficient in the use of authorized weapons.  This policy establishes the qualification and certification procedures for Bureau-authorized weapons.  The authorization to carry and use any Bureau-approved weapon and munition is contingent upon a member’s ability to qualify on a designated qualification course approved or developed by the Training Division.

2. The Bureau recognizes the inherent risks in operating weapons and expects its sworn members to exercise due caution at all times while handling, transporting, and using weapons and munitions.  Safety is paramount, and the Bureau shall hold all members to the strictest of standards regarding weapon safety.

3. The Bureau authorizes the Training Division to approve specialty unit qualification standard operating procedures (SOPs) or provide weapons training and instruction to its sworn members to enhance their skills.  Members who have completed the Bureau’s Instructors School are authorized to conduct training and/or certification courses within their designated field, although the Training Division may seek outside instructors as needed.   

4. Directive 1010.00, Use of Force, governs the use of all weapons in a member’s performance of duty. 

Procedure:

1. Qualification: 

1.1. Members shall qualify during tri-annual qualification range periods for patrol-used/Operations-based primary, secondary and less lethal weapons, except the asp baton, CEW and aerosol restraints.

1.2. Sworn Member Responsibilities.

1.2.1. Primary Firearms.    

1.2.1.1. Members are required to qualify at a Training Division-approved firearms qualification range.  These members shall have their firearm(s) inspected by a certified instructor (CI) or certified armorer prior to firing each weapon for qualification, and prior to being authorized to carry each firearm.

1.2.1.2. Members must fire a passing score on the designated primary firearms qualification course as prescribed by the Training Division.

1.2.1.3. Members that fail to cold qualify must immediately attempt to conditionally qualify on the same course.  This condition requires the member to receive remedial training.  The member must successfully complete a cold qualification within twenty-one days after firing the conditionally qualified score.  All members must be qualified by the end of the qualification period, regardless of when they conditionally qualified.

1.2.1.3.1. If a member fails to shoot a passing score on their attempt to conditionally qualify, they are considered non-qualified and must notify their immediate supervisor before leaving the range.  Members shall be immediately re-assigned to administrative duties where contact with the public is unlikely.  Remedial firearms training, as determined through consultation with the Training Division, shall be arranged by the member’s supervisor.

1.2.1.3.2. During the non-qualified member’s remedial firearms training, the member shall have an opportunity to fire a qualification course for score (record).  Members who fire a passing score shall be conditionally qualified and shall be required to cold qualify.  All members must be qualified by the end of the qualification period regardless of when they conditionally qualified.

1.2.1.4. If a member’s qualifications lapse while they are on an absence from duty, they must immediately re-qualify upon return to duty.

1.2.1.5. During tri-annual qualification ranges, Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) members may qualify with their primary firearms during SERT training days and forward their qualification documentation to the Training Division.

1.2.2. Secondary Firearm.

1.2.2.1. Members who carry a secondary firearm must qualify and pass under the Training Division’s prescribed firearm qualification course during each tri-annual qualification period.

1.2.2.2. Members who fail to conditionally qualify on their second attempt will not be authorized to carry that weapon as a secondary firearm until they successfully complete a cold qualification.

1.2.2.3. Any member who fails to cold qualify on their first attempt with a secondary firearm is required to receive remedial training and re-qualify cold.

1.2.3. AR-15.

1.2.3.1. Members who have successfully completed AR-15 training and are certified by the Training Division shall be issued a Bureau-owned AR-15. All certified AR-15 operators shall qualify with their weapon during all qualification periods.

1.2.3.2. Prior to carrying an AR-15, members shall conduct a function check and fire a passing score on the designated AR-15 qualification course, as prescribed by the Training Division.

1.2.3.3. Members who fail to pass the function check or fail to cold qualify with a passing score during the qualification period will no longer be qualified.  Members are required to immediately notify their supervisor and are not authorized to carry or deploy an AR-15.  Members in a non-qualified status must conduct remedial training and pass another cold qualification and safety function check within twenty-one days.  Failure to qualify may lead to the revocation of the member’s AR-15 certification by the Training Division Manager.

1.2.3.4. Any member who fails to cold qualify on their first attempt with an AR-15 is required to receive remedial training and re-qualify cold.

1.2.4. Shotgun.

1.2.4.1. All members shall fire a passing score on the designated shotgun qualification course as prescribed by the Training Division during each tri-annual qualification period.

1.2.4.2. All members must perform a function check during each qualification period.  Those who do not successfully demonstrate the function check must do so within twenty-one days.  

1.2.4.3. If a member fails to shoot a passing score or fails to pass the function check, they shall not carry a shotgun on duty.  Members are still required to conduct remedial training and successfully complete another cold qualification within twenty-one days.

1.2.4.4. Any member who fails to cold qualify on their first attempt with a shotgun is required to receive remedial training and re-qualify cold.

1.2.4.5. Members who have not yet attended the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) basic academy or the PPB Advanced Academy are exempt from the function check requirement.  However, while a member is attending either academy it is a requirement that they become proficient with the shotgun and must successfully qualify and perform the function check prior to graduation.

1.2.5. Less Lethal Launchers.

1.2.5.1. Certified members are required to re-qualify during the designated time by completing the approved course of fire.  Re-qualifying members shall have their weapon inspected by a CI or certified armorer, prior to firing.

1.2.5.2. Members must pass a function check and the designated qualification course prescribed by the Training Division in order to be considered re-qualified.

1.2.5.3. Members who do not pass shall be considered non-qualified and must return on another day to attempt re-qualification.  Members shall not carry their less lethal launcher on patrol until they have been re-qualified.

1.2.5.4. Members who do not re-qualify on the less lethal launcher shall not carry or deploy the weapon.  Failure to do so may lead to the revocation of the member’s less lethal launcher certification by the Training Division Manager.

1.2.5.5. Any member who fails to cold qualify on their first attempt with a less lethal launcher is required to receive remedial training and re-qualify cold.

1.2.5.6. For specialty unit qualification courses, assigned members shall refer to the unit’s SOPs.

1.2.6. Specialty units, such as SERT and Rapid Response Team (RRT), shall conduct qualification assessments of their specialty munitions annually, at a minimum.  Members shall refer to the specialty units’ SOPs for additional guidance on qualification requirements.

1.2.7. Pregnancy Qualification.

1.2.7.1. Members who are pregnant, under the advice of their physician, may elect to forego qualifying for the duration of their pregnancy.  Members shall qualify prior to returning to full duty.

1.2.8. Nursing Mother’s Qualification.

1.2.8.1. Members who are on a nursing mother’s contract shall qualify prior to returning to full duty. 

1.2.8.2.  Upon request, CIs shall assist the member with reducing potential lead exposures (e.g., loading/unloading, weapons maintenance, and range cleaning).

1.2.9. CEW.

1.2.9.1. In order to be qualified to carry or use a CEW while on duty or in the exercise of police powers, each member must qualify with the CEW prior to being authorized to carry the tool.  Members shall qualify annually with the CEW.

1.2.10. Aerosol Restraints and Batons.

1.2.10.1. Members shall receive initial training on aerosol restraints and batons and must demonstrate proficiency prior to issuance of each tool.  There are no ongoing qualification requirements for aerosol restraints or batons; however, a supervisor can request remedial training if deemed necessary.

1.2.11. Specialty Munitions:

1.2.11.1. Members shall qualify annually with specialty munitions prior to being authorized to use.

1.2.12. A member who fails to qualify on a firearm shall not be allowed to carry that firearm, either on duty or off duty, when based on their authority as a police officer until they have fired a passing score on a qualification course as prescribed by the Training Division. 

1.3.  Members shall refer to Directive 1020.00, Weapons Administration, for additional guidance regarding administrative information for each weapon. 

2. Training Division Manager (or designee) Responsibilities.

2.1. Develop the qualification course for firearms, less lethal launchers, CEWs, and AR-15s with the exception of specialty units.  The Training Division shall approve qualification and training plans outlined in specialty unit SOPs. 

2.2. Arrange tri-annual qualifications by establishing times and locations for each RU. Print and distribute a Qualification Special Order no later than twenty-one days prior to the start of the qualification range.   

2.3. Print and distribute a Non- Qualified report to all RU Managers fifteen days prior to the beginning of the open range (time during the last two weeks of the qualification period) and at the conclusion of the qualification/recertification range. 

2.4. Maintain Bureau-wide weapons qualification standards and member training and certification records for auditing purposes. 

2.5. Provide each unit/division with copies of requalification records for assigned members. 

2.6. Ensure all members’ qualification, certification, and refresher training records are maintained and up-to-date regarding applicable firearms and less lethal weapons. 

2.7. Ensure members returning from Leave of Service (LOS) comply with firearms qualification requirements upon notification from the Personnel Division. 

2.8. Ensure curriculum/courses, techniques and procedures used by the Training Division adhere to the provisions in this directive. 

2.9. The Training Division and Professional Standards Division shall provide notice to the Chief of Police of any proposed changes to CEW certification rules or SOPs. 

2.10. Qualification Instructor Responsibilities.

2.10.1. CIs shall review and follow all Special Orders regarding tri-annual qualification periods.

2.10.2. CIs are authorized to and shall conduct official qualification courses (for record) and firearms training.  CIs are responsible for the completion and distribution of the appropriate Qualification Record.

2.10.3. CIs shall provide and conduct remedial training courses for the primary and secondary firearms, AR-15, and shotgun.

2.10.3.1. Upon completion of remedial training, CIs shall document the training in a memo and forward through channels to the Training Division Manager for members in the following conditions:

2.10.3.1.1. Conditionally qualified with a primary or secondary firearm

2.10.3.1.2. Non-qualified with a primary firearm

2.10.3.1.3. Non-qualified with the AR-15

2.10.3.1.4. Non-qualified with the shotgun

2.10.4. CIs shall provide and conduct training, qualification and re-qualification courses for the less lethal launcher and less lethal munitions.

2.10.5. CIs shall inspect all weapon systems prior to firing for qualification to determine if the weapon is clean, lubricated, not damaged, or altered beyond the Training Division-approved modifications.

2.10.6. CEW instructors shall provide and conduct training, certification, and re-qualification courses for use of a CEW.

2.10.7. A qualified instructor shall provide and conduct training courses for use of any baton.

2.10.8. A qualified instructor shall provide and conduct training courses for use of aerosol restraints. 

3. Personnel Division Manager (or a designee) Responsibilities. 

3.1. Notify the Training Division when members have returned from LOS. 

3.2. May exempt members from qualifications based on their physical condi­tion (with a physician’s written excuse), current job assignment (unarmed, no contact with the public), or other exceptional circumstances.  Exemp­tions must be given in writing with a copy forwarded to the Training Division Manager. 

4. RU Managers Responsibilities.

4.1. Request training and certification to the Training Division once course dates have been announced. 

4.2. Ensure that all members assigned to their RU qualify during the qualification period as prescribed by the Training Division. 

4.3. When applicable, provide a memo to the appropriate Branch Chief for any member who fails to qualify with their primary firearm within twenty-one days of their initial cold qualification.  The memo shall document all training and qualification attempts and recommend a course of action (e.g., work plan, personnel action, fitness for duty, etc.).  

4.4. Provide a memorandum to the member’s Branch Chief if a member fails to cold qualify with a weapon other than the primary firearm within twenty one days after the first failed attempt.  The memorandum shall document all training and qualifica­tion attempts and shall recommend a course of action. 

4.5. Ensure that members who are non-qualified immediately qualify prior to contact with the public.  A non-qualified member can neither work in an armed capacity, nor have contact with the public. 

4.6. Submit written documentation for re-certification exceptions or alternative re-certification arrangements to the Training Division.  Any exception or arrangement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis after consultation with the impacted member, their RU Manager, or designee, and the Training Division Manager, or designee. 

4.7. May excuse staff and undercover officers from carrying firearms and/or extra ammunition if these items are not appropriate for the assignment.  These exceptions, however, should be kept to a minimum and must be documented. 

4.8. Maintain a Weapons Storage and Issuance Procedures SOP that details safekeeping and storage measures for RU assigned firearms. 

History:

  • Originating Directive Date Signed: 07/21/17
    • Effective Date: 8/19/17
  • Next Review Date: 01/21/18